A young boy reads a chart on his own, learning by doing.

A Look at the Valuable Method that Provides Students
with a More Meaningful Education

Learning-by-doing has been around for centuries and is making a comeback in the Canadian education system as well as daycares across Canada. Whether as outdoor play or indoor activities, experiential learning is making waves.

By developing skills through interactive, tactile learning and learning through play, children and students gain hands-on experiences that provide them with the skills and knowledge they need to understand various fields better.

As a result, this type of learning provides children and students with ample opportunities in their future.

Here’s a look at the learning-by-doing teaching method and how you can give your child a head start in education with both outdoor and indoor play in Ottawa.

What Is The “Learning-By-Doing” Theory?

Learning-by-doing, also known as experiential learning and hands-on learning, is a form of learning from one’s own actions and experiences.

This type of learning is in contrast from the traditional teaching methods that are considered learning from watching, reading, or listening.

While watching, reading, and listening are actions as well, they only create direct experience with demonstrations or descriptions of actions instead of the direct experience of performing an action.

The direct experience with performing actions provides sensory contact for the learner in all forms. So instead of just listening, reading, or watching, learners are also touching, visualizing, conceptualizing, and problem-solving with the task at hand, creating a much more meaningful learning experience.

Learning-by-doing combines learning with a real life experience so the lesson learned becomes part of that life experience.

Experiential learning teaches kids working, tactile knowledge and skills through interactive, tactile learning and learning through play both inside and outside the classroom.

How Is Play Used to Stimulate Learning?

Play is an essential part of early childhood education. It helps young children’s brains develop. It helps children develop the necessary language, communication, motor, and cognitive skills needed to thrive in life.

Singing, peek-a-boo, and shaking a rattle are examples of play, and may seem like simple ways to pass time with your child. But these activities actually help young children develop communication, problem-solving, and motor skills.

And playing with blocks or at a children’s playground can teach math and science concepts to young children, such as shapes, counting, balance, and gravity.

While children’s play may seem simple, it is actually crucial for their development. Play helps build the foundations for education.

How Does This Hands-On Experience Help My Child?

The saying, “Children’s brains are like sponges,” refers to children’s fast brain development and ability to learn new skills.

Learning important skills in the early years of your child’s life can pave the way for your child to succeed throughout life emotionally, socially, cognitively, and physically.

The most significant brain development happens during the early years, especially the first two years of a child’s life. By age three, a child’s brain is about 80 percent developed. And by age five, the brain is about 90 percent developed.

This means that learning through play and hands-on experiences cannot wait until a child enters kindergarten. Children always need to engage with experiential learning, even as infants.

A lack of play and communication with young children is referred to as “under-stimulation” since the child’s brain isn’t being actively stimulated during development.

So instead of developing crucial life skills in these early years, an under-stimulated child could face barriers to learning as they get older, and experience long-term physical and mental health consequences.

Children benefit from play and hands-on experiences in any setting—whether it’s indoor play at home or daycare, outdoor play at the park or discovering nature, or even hands-on experiences at the grocery store, such as weighing apples.

Always look for opportunities to play with and teach your children. Play will encourage healthy brain development and prepare children for lifelong learning.

Why Is This One of The Best Teaching Methods?

Learning-by-doing helps students to better retain knowledge by creating super memories. This teaching method engages all senses, which is important for creating lasting memories and retaining knowledge.

When learning-by-doing, students’ brains associate the lesson with the motor skills they used. These physical associations add extra meaning to lessons learned, and make the concepts more instinctual.

Children and students who learn through active hands-on learning are better able to grasp concepts and lessons and develop vocabulary related to the lessons, outperforming students who merely observe lessons.

Hands-on learning activities allow children to inspect shapes from different visual angles. Through this experience, they develop fine motor skills and train their brains to imagine and rotate shapes.

Active, outdoor play also enhances learning, especially about the physical world. Outdoor play is especially useful for developing children’s vocabularies. This outdoor discovery allows children to explore the outdoors and learn words for physical objects, actions, and forces.

Children are able to learn new motion verbs faster if they perform the movements. And they are better able to understand a story if they act it out instead of just repeating the words.

Active, experiential learning is especially helpful to teach children about objects, kinetics, natural forces, and spatial relationships.

Experiential learning helps children understand physical interactions and natural wonders, such as science.

How Does Learning-By-Doing Empower Students and Get Them Ready for Their Future?

When students learn new skills through learning-by-doing activities, they build confidence. Experiential learning lessons also create excitement around learning, which encourages students to continue learning and develop their skills.

Confidence and a willingness to learn are important for lifelong education and learning both inside and outside the classroom. With experiential learning, children can better grasp complex concepts, providing more opportunities to excel in various fields in the future.

Canadian schools and daycares recognize the importance of experiential learning and how it benefits children and students for a lifetime.

It’s never too early to start engaging your child with experiential learning and play.